Legal Services in the News


05/28/20: Limited Technology Access Prevents Kids in the Child Welfare System from Connecting with Parents (from - Lack of access to technology “hits on so many different levels for child welfare clients,” says Jeyanthi Rajaraman, chief counsel of the Family Representation Project at Legal Services of New Jersey. She describes clients having technical issues throughout every facet of the system, including visitations, accessing health care, fulfilling services, and participating in court hearings.

“The clients...struggling with medical appointments and internet access and visits and housing vouchers are all people of color, and two of them are Spanish speaking without [legal immigration] status,” adds Rajaraman.

05/08/20: Legal Services Newsletter Highlights Unemployment, Family Leave, Food Stamps Benefits Available During The Pandemic

04/29/20: As Unemployment Mounts During COVID-19, Newark Renters Are Also Contending with Illegal Evictions (from Tap into Newark)

04/29/20: A Parent’s Ally: Providing “A Bridge” for Parents in Early Legal Representation (from Rise Magazine) - Parent advocates have an essential impactful role in providing effective legal representation to protect parents’ rights, prevent family separation and support parents involved with the child welfare system. Here, Iesha Hammons, the Parent Ally at Legal Services of New Jersey, explains how she supports parents, why she does this work, the challenges of being a Parent Ally and how she takes care of herself in the role.

04/29/20: Protecting Families from Poverty—and CPS: How Early Legal Representation is Working in New Jersey (from RISE magazine) - Parents struggling to provide for their children are often surprised to learn that gaps in basic care caused by poverty can result in allegations of neglect and child removal. Parents struggling with lack of adequate housing or poverty need access to resources and support, not an intrusive child welfare investigation, mandated services, or separation.

04/08/20: Legal Services of New Jersey launches program for victims enslaved by human trafficking (from - Legal Services of New Jersey (LSNJ), based in Edison, has launched a major new statewide initiative to provide civil legal aid for victims in the Garden State enslaved by human traffickers and forced to do work or perform sex against their will.

04/08/20: COVID-19 Behind Bars: Will Releasing At-Risk Inmates, Select Others Keep Lid on Potential Crisis? (from - Official figures for COVID-19 cases in prison include 67 staffers and five inmates, but troubling questions about the accuracy of both counts are being raised.

04/08/20: Legal Services Newsletter Focuses on Income Limits for NJ FamilyCare Programs and Time Limits for some Food Stamp Recipients

04/08/20: Coronavirus in NJ: Hard-hit renters look for government aid, landlord flexibility, even weigh rent strikes (from The Asbury Park Press) - While those who are being hit financially by the coronavirus are getting some relief on their bills — with moratoriums on everything from mortgage payments to auto loans — renters like Russo remain stuck in a burden many cannot meet.

03/31/20: Legal Services Launches Program for Victims Enslaved by Human Trafficking

02/19/20: Latest Legal Services Newsletter Focuses on Expungement Reforms, Federal Income Tax Returns

02/13/20: How can pre-petition legal representation help strengthen families and keep them together? (from Casey Family Programs) - Too often, children enter or linger in foster care because their parents are struggling with poverty-related issues, including substandard housing, or because they lack the resources for legal counsel to resolve civil or criminal matters, such as custody or protection orders, that could facilitate child safety. These poverty-induced issues do not equal neglect or warrant separating children from their families.

01/13/20: Governor Murphy Signs Legislation Mandating Comprehensive Disclosure and Transparency Requirements for Civil Asset Forfeiture (from - Governor Phil Murphy today signed legislation (S1963) mandating comprehensive disclosure and transparency requirements for the system of civil asset forfeiture.